China checks: India to double border outposts, use drones in Arunachal

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    Sep 22, 2012
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    Detroit MI
    China checks: India to double border outposts, use drones in Arunachal Pradesh

    NEW DELHI: Though much of the border trouble vis-a-vis China has been visible in Leh-Ladakh region recently, it is the Arunachal Pradesh border which is most vulnerable because of its terrain and lack of infrastructure. In view of this, home minister Rajnath Singh on Friday announced that ITBP border outposts (BoPs) in Arunachal would be more than doubled and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) deployed for effective surveillance.

    This would eventually result in infusion of close to 10 more battalions (around 10,000 soldiers) in the region, considerably increasing the presence of Indian forces in Arunachal. Singh also announced sanction of Rs 175 crore for repair and maintenance of border infrastructure in the state.

    The announcement comes even as China has raised serious objections to India constructing roads and other infrastructure in Arunachal, which it has often claimed as its own.

    While addressing ITBP personnel on the force's 53rd Raising Day, Singh announced that the government had sanctioned 54 new BoPs to be constructed on the Arunachal border. At present, there are about 40 BoPs on the 1,126 km Arunachal border making patrolling and surveillance in the region extremely difficult.

    While on Indo-Pak border, there are BoPs every three-four km, on the Arunachal border the distance can stretch up to 50-100 km between two BoPs in certain sectors. "There was an urgent need to increase the number of BoPs in Arunachal. The proposal had been in the works for a year. We are happy the government has sanctioned it. We will now need to increase the strength on the border by eight to 10 battalions to man these new BoPs," said an ITBP officer.

    The home minister also warned China that India wants peace but would not compromise its territorial integrity. He said: "India wants peace with China, but it cannot be at the cost of national honour and any compromise on the territorial integrity of the country. The infrastructural development on the Indian side of the border with China is necessary for facilitating our forces. There should be no concern for any infrastructural development on our side of the border from our neighbours. Any issue along the border can be resolved through negotiations in a peaceful and cordial manner."

    ITBP DG Subhash Goswami raised the issue of the force being overburdened and stressed due to 100% deployment in extremely tough terrain. ITBP has no reserve battalions, making it difficult for rotation of jawans between easy and tough postings. Singh is learnt to have promised to look into the issue.

    Singh said the ministry is committed to the empowerment of paramilitary forces and in this regard, the delegation of financial powers to the DGs of the forces for procurement of machinery and equipment has been increased from Rs 8 crore to Rs 20 crore. The power for procurement of arms and ammunition has also been enhanced from Rs 5 crore to Rs 20 crore. The delegated power for clothing and tents has been raised from Rs 6 crore to Rs 15 crore.

    Singh also objected to the unprovoked firing along the Pakistan border even on Diwali. The minister said the neighbouring country should restrain from such activities. He mentioned that such cease-fire violations are unacceptable to India and the forces are forced to take appropriate retaliatory measures. "While our eastern border is managed in a peaceful manner, our western neighbour should also maintain calm and peace at the border," he said.

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